In today’s digital age you can amass friends on Facebook and Twitter through likes and follows at the click of a button and even in some cases buy a social media following. Friendship seems easy and cheap. But what kind of friendship is it?
Just what is a true friend?
Zen Master John Tarrant: “If you have a true friend, one of you will sit at the other’s deathbed.”
That puts things into perspective, doesn’t it? I can’t quite see Twitter followers and Facebook friends crowding around anyone’s bed in the Intensive Care Unit during their final days!
What John Tarrant reminds us of, is that ” true friendships are long-term connections that flow through our life like rivers.”
My husband, Capers, had childhood friends and kept them right through adulthood. How did he do it?
- He worked at it. Wherever we lived he had friends and when we moved to another city, state, or country he kept in contact.He made an effort to keep up with his friend’s lives.
- He called them. No emails and Facebook messages. He sent them birthday cards, he wrote them letters. He sent them articles he thought they might like.
- He had a “tell it like it is honesty.” If a friend asked for his opinion, he gave an honest answer.
- He had an inherent kindness. There is nothing like civility and just being nice to people. ” Kindness, I’ve discovered, is everything in life.” – Isaac Bashevis Singer
- He listened. If a friend had a problem at work, or in his marriage, he listened and encouraged them.
- He had a great sense of humor. If someone was depressed he used his humor to bring laughter back into their lives.
- He showed respect to everyone, regardless of their social status. It wasn’t unusual for him to plan a fishing trip with my uneducated uncle. Social status made no difference to him. He treated everyone with respect and believed they had something to offer.
- He scheduled time for them when they were in town or he was in their town. That personal connection of seeing a friend in person goes a long way to keep a friend.
When he passed away, those friends showed up to honor him at his funeral.
Making friends and keeping friends is hard work, but the benefits are priceless. Of course, a good friend is priceless.To be one takes effort and practice.
I hope the above help you and remind you of the wonderful aspects of friendship. .
What qualities do you look for in a best friend or even a casual friend? Share your thoughts with a comment.